As a coworking space provider, it is imperative that your IT infrastructure sets you and your members up for success and ensures business continuity. Some coworking companies have an in-house IT team to manage the day to day needs of the office. However, for a major project such as a move or opening a new office, most companies will need to bring in qualified professionals to assist.
If you will be opening a new office in the future you’ll have many aspects of the new opening to consider beyond the technology used; however, in today’s world, your technology infrastructure is a key component that must be carefully planned for early on and designed and implemented by an experienced team. It is important to choose an IT partner that will fully analyze your current and future needs, utilize best practices and proven procedures, and always use vetted and experienced engineers, technicians, and project managers. Whether you are building out a completely new space or retrofitting an existing space for your needs, your IT partner will assess, design, and implement a complete infrastructure to match your needs.
In creating your IT environment, your IT partner will begin with your network infrastructure, installing network passive equipment such as cabling and network active devices such as switches and routers. Beyond that, you will face decisions regarding storage, telephony, internet, security, access control, and other devices. Your IT partner should work in partnership with you to determine the best infrastructure for your new office.
Over the years, we have built the network infrastructure for many new coworking offices. Because we know how critical a strong infrastructure is—and how difficult these projects can be without the right experience— we put together a helpful guide that addresses common questions and challenges. Some questions that you will need to consider include:
- Has the appropriate cabling been laid to ensure that I can support the future needs of my members?
- Will my community managers require a hardwired internet connection to work effectively? I.e., many spaces will opt to use a VOIP phone at the front desk which will require an Ethernet connection.
- Will my members use the cloud or require on-site data storage?
- Are backups of my organization’s and my tenant’s important data being created regularly? (NOTE: This can include a variety of things such as HR or Accounting data as well as other business files. For example, many companies will have a file for each client. What information is in the file would vary depending on the type of organization. Nearly every modern company has important data that would cause disruptions to the business if lost.)
- Is a managed solution (using outsourced IT, rather than in-house IT staff) the best option for my organization?
- Has my infrastructure been created as part of a comprehensive plan?
To help you make informed decisions about your IT environment, ImagIT has created the Network Infrastructure 101 Guide. This provides a step-by-step framework for planning an infrastructure that will position your workspace for success. Topics in the guide include:
- Key networking hardware and its function
- Implementation of your network infrastructure
- Storage, backup, and disaster recovery (Is this relevant?) (NOTE: Definitely! This relates back to the data backups… companies that don’t properly store and back up data often suffer significant losses if faced with an incident. Incidents range from natural disasters to cybercrime to employee negligence.)
- Determining voice and data requirements
- And much more
Take a detailed look at your network infrastructure planning and position your new office for success — click to download your free guide.
If you will be opening a new office or multiple new offices in the near future and would like to consult with an expert IT partner about your infrastructure, we are here to help. We have helped many organizations open new offices and can provide planning, services, and support for all aspects of your IT infrastructure. By working with our experienced engineers, technicians, and project managers, you can ensure that your technology will be optimized for success both now and in the future.
This is a guest blog post courtesy of Paula Bewick from ImagIT